Genetic properties of the maize nested association mapping population

Michael D McMullen, Stephen Kresovich, Hector Sanchez Villeda, Peter Bradbury, Huihui Li, Qi Sun, Sherry Flint-Garcia, Jeffry Thornsberry, Charlotte Acharya, Christopher Bottoms, Patrick Brown, Chris Browne, Magen Eller, Kate Guill, Carlos Harjes, Dallas Kroon, Nick Lepak, Sharon E Mitchell, Brooke Peterson, Gael Pressoir, Susan Romero, Marco Oropeza Rosas, Stella Salvo, Heather Yates, Mark Hanson, Elizabeth Jones, Stephen Smith, Jeffrey C Glaubitz, Major Goodman, Doreen Ware, James B Holland, Edward S Buckler
Science 2009 August 7, 325 (5941): 737-40
Maize genetic diversity has been used to understand the molecular basis of phenotypic variation and to improve agricultural efficiency and sustainability. We crossed 25 diverse inbred maize lines to the B73 reference line, capturing a total of 136,000 recombination events. Variation for recombination frequencies was observed among families, influenced by local (cis) genetic variation. We identified evidence for numerous minor single-locus effects but little two-locus linkage disequilibrium or segregation distortion, which indicated a limited role for genes with large effects and epistatic interactions on fitness. We observed excess residual heterozygosity in pericentromeric regions, which suggested that selection in inbred lines has been less efficient in these regions because of reduced recombination frequency. This implies that pericentromeric regions may contribute disproportionally to heterosis.

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